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  • Crispin Till

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    Car boot sale helping to raise money for children and families of men lost at sea


    As the region struggles to come to terms with the loss of six lives in a fishing trawler accident, an upcoming community car boot sale is one way locals can band together to help support the grieving families.

    Cairns has been rocked by the sinking of fishing trawler Dianne in rough seas on October 17, with most of the crew being from Cairns. 

    To help raise money for the families and friends of the men lost, as well as to help with the ongoing recovery efforts, Cairns Biggest Car Boot Sale will be held on November 4 from 9am to noon at Fretwell Park.

    Triple M Cairns breakfast announcer Maddi Wright said the idea was just one way the community could come together and do as much as possible for the grieving families.

    "It came about because a few people in our office have been affected by the tragedy and wanted to do something to support the families, especially the children that have been affected," she said

    "One of our listeners came up with the idea and we ran with it really quickly.

    "We have been texting, emailing and calling everyone we know in Cairns and we are very blessed to have the support of the community to get this up and running.

    “We want to raise as much money as possible for the families and children of the fishermen lost in the tragedy."

    The efforts have started with a bang and are gathering pace with plans for a major raffle as well and the event has attracted some star power with NRL Footy Show personality Beau Ryan lending his support and posting a video message to Facebook calling for TNQ to help out as much as possible.

    Most of the families of the missing crew are currently in Gladstone as search efforts continue and Maddi said she had spoken to Ana James the fiancée of Eli Tonks, 39, and they are thankful for TNQ's prayers, thoughts and support.

    "They are supporting what we are doing and all the men have a deep history here and many people are connected to the tragedy," she said.

    "The community as a whole is devastated and is in mourning.

    "The families know Cairns is hurting with them and we are doing as much as we can to help."

    Crews are still searching for the bodies of Mr Tonks, Adam Bidner, 33, Chris Sammut, 34, and Zach Feeney, 28.

    The bodies of skipper Ben Leahy, 45 and Adam Hoffman, 30, have been recovered from the wreck.

    For more information about the car boot sale, click here.